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Kevin Stein's Poetry

In March, where the Kickapoo Bends


I hope I die before I get old.
        � The Who


Three of us walked, though that
        was hardly all, down white-


tail path through bracken wood,
        oak and hickory, track


of elms disease had wracked
        and left to stand, bark peeling


from wood the color of bone,
        all home for woodpecker


and later sweet fodder
        for morel. Three of us


walked, though that was hardly
        all, down past a rusting


wood stove, bright heaps of glass
        and stone, the lone jack-in-


the-pulpit rising like sex
        after sixty. Three of us walked -


one who'd patched his marriage,
        one who'd found a job, one


whose wife and son had slipped
        cancer's grip � down through damp


folds of Solomon's seal,
        both false and real, through May


Apple's raised umbrellas
        and multiflora rose


someone's good intentions
        had made tangled pest, down


to the Kickapoo bend,
        a bluff of osage-orange,


down where bluebells bloomed
        ground to sky and our steps


flushed a chorus of doves
        whose wings burst feathered


laughter. Down where bells
        rang our silent thanks �


warm beer as explosive
        as middle-age we once


blithely swore we'd refuse.

 

 

 

Note: This poem appeared in Kevin Stein's collection Chance Ransom (University of Illinois Press, 2000). � Kevin Stein. Used with permission.